You and your independent pharmacy peers have deep roots in the communities you serve, and no one doubts your commitment to your patients. But as a novel virus redefined our perception of normal, one of the main challenges you faced was how to balance patient care with protecting pharmacy staff and maintaining a viable business. Always on the front line as an essential service, independent pharmacies became the go-to resource for many patients preparing for the unknown.
Our Good Neighbor Pharmacy business coaches scrambled to help our members protect their profitability and preserve their fundamental focus of taking care of patients. One successful strategy was a well-known best practice: medication synchronization. Not only are med sync programs well suited to any pharmacy seeking to improve efficiency and profitability, but the practice of coordinating prescription refills provided the added benefit of protecting patients and pharmacy staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Syncing meds has long been a beneficial service, eliminating the need for patients to call in refills and reducing their trips to the pharmacy. As COVID spread, med sync also provided a timely solution to minimize staff-patient interactions impacted by new safety protocols.
Furthermore, syncing prescriptions increases the likelihood patients will have their meds on hand and can take them as directed, reducing missed refills and boosting patient adherence. Even under normal circumstances, patient adherence can be a challenge—nearly half of adults don’t take their medication as prescribed. But in this unprecedented situation, it’s become even more critical for patients to plan ahead to ensure they have their medications when they need them.
Protecting your business
While a med sync program can enhance patient care, there are significant benefits for your pharmacy as well. Improving adherence is also good for your pharmacy’s performance ratings and your bottom line. Patients who sync their meds have fewer missed refills, meaning your pharmacy fills more prescriptions, essentially getting more business from your existing patients. In addition, a well-managed med sync program can positively impact your pharmacy in other ways by enabling better inventory control and more streamlined staffing.
But change can be challenging, and it can be hard for any independent pharmacy to know where to start. Our business coaches are helping Good Neighbor Pharmacy members:
- Identify sync patients
- Establish actionable goals
- Review staffing requirements
- Develop patient messaging
- Train pharmacy staff on how to put the program into action
- Craft support materials like customized sync checklists and patient-facing reminders
No matter where your pharmacy is in the process, whether you’re just starting out or looking to reignite an established program, our business coaches have the expertise and tools needed to make your med sync program a success.
Results in action
Between October 2019 and September 2020, Good Neighbor Pharmacy business coaches helped 161 pharmacies optimize their med sync program, bringing on a total 22,786 new synced patients. Broken down by participating pharmacies, this equates to an average of $112,400 in additional revenue and more than $18,000 in additional profit per pharmacy!*
Our business coach encouraged us to focus on growing our med sync numbers and since doing that we have close to 160 patients synced! This is a drastic increase from our starting value, which was essentially zero. The positive effects of this program are visible in the 3% increase in our refills. I have been a pharmacist for a while now, but not having much of a business background makes our coach’s guidance that much more valuable to me. I am confident that our coach’s input will continue to be crucial as we strive to grow this business.
Our coach offers many eye-opening insights on how to grow our pharmacy, and our med sync program continues to grow with help from PrescribeWellness. It has helped us maintain consistent script numbers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
AmerisourceBergen and PrescribeWellness have great tools and reports to go with them, but unless someone like my business coach can show me how to make sense of it all—from where we stand in the industry to how new things can be implemented—I would not be able to survive in business. With the help of my business coach, I have been able to effectively pursue our refills due and increase our weekly prescription volume by 90 to 100 prescriptions. I went over the data of the last seven weeks and saw 7.47% growth in the number of prescriptions filled. This is at the time of coronavirus when a lot of medical offices are still not working to full scale and patients are afraid of going to the doctor’s office or appointments are not available. When I started working with my business coach, I had med synced 96 patients and as of today I have med synced 302 patients. I also received guidance on how to look at our workflow and have our pharmacy efficiently staffed at peak hours. My coach is exactly the teacher I’ve been looking for!
*Based on a 12-month study from Thrifty White Pharmacy as analyzed by Virginia Commonwealth University and referenced in NCPA’s Medication Synchronization Revenue Calculator. Calculations for gross revenue assume that synced patients fill an additional 2.8 fills per year with an average blended sale price of $61. Calculations for average margin assume $10/profit per prescription.